Software migration, also known as computer migration, data migration or Personal Computer (PC) migration is moving the data and applications from one computer to another. The reasons can be because the user has either purchased a new computer, or the computers at the workplace have been upgraded to new systems. Due to the importance, or difficulty of replacing the original files and programs, the user prefer to have everything go with them to the new machine or system.

Usually software migration can be done manually using software tools specific for this operation, over a data transfer cable, the link between the two computers.

More often than not, full transfer of all the data and software from the source to the destination machine is not entirely necessary. Software migration in the above mentioned fashion can be entirely avoided by making use of external storage devices that will manage to store all the necessary data. Other organizations provide an internet solution for software migration, in that they allow for internet storage. This means instead of using an external hard disk for example, the user will use the internet to keep all the necessary information, and then download it onto the new machine. This removes the need for a full software migration.

However, these methods do not work in the business environment. This is because some software has its necessary files in sections of the hard disk that cannot be accessed by users for one reason or another. This would result in the application reverting to the default settings, or completely malfunctioning, resulting in the need to reinstall. Files, for instance registry files, are required to be moved as they are to the second machine. And so in that case a full software migration becomes necessary.

On a more individual note, home users are not so limited to requiring an entire software migration for their personal computers. This is because the most important files for the average home user is usually limited to a number of documents, music, pictures and videos. There is not such a large volume of data that they require a very large storage device to move these files. Furthermore, the applications stored on their computers might need to be either updated to match the new system’s requirements or alternatively, reinstalling is not such a difficult endeavor. With the necessary installation files, they are not required to perform an entire software migration because of this. Also, the user desired settings can be redone in a relatively short amount of time, though it may be tedious.

In conclusion, we see that the software migration process is mostly required by businesses. The files and applications that are on their older machine is more often needed as is, and a loss of this data can cost the company a lot in profit. The information they end up collecting becomes a very huge asset to them. The software migration for a home user can easily be performed by themselves, with a limited amount of knowledge in computer use, however in organizations; this is more often than not accomplished by the IT Department.